Banana Bread Just Got Way More Interesting with This Chai Spice Recipe

chai spice banana bread

Photo: Courtesy of Neurotic Baker

Finally, with this recipe, I’ve used all of my ripe bananas. While it was fun baking nonstop banana recipes, I was beginning to dream of banana-free desserts.

I found the most divine-looking Chia Spice Banana Bread recipe on Tutti Dolci. I love chai tea, and I thought this was a great interpretation. I only ran into one snag: I didn’t have any coconut oil. I thought I had some in the back of the cupboard, but alas, I did not. I was torn between using melted butter and vegetable oil, and after about 10 minutes of staring at the cupboard, I decided on oil.

The bread was delicious. It was moist and very flavorful. My only criticism is that I would add less cardamom. It’s a very powerful spice and I found it standing out among the other spices instead of blending in. I would say the same in general for recipes that only use nutmeg. A little dab will do ya! I could tell that the coconut would add a very nice flavor. I love having excuses for trying recipes again.

When I first started this blog, I mostly used tried-and-true, sourced recipes from well-known and established sites like Epicurious or Bon Appetit, occasionally throwing in a few of my own creations that I adapted from old family recipes. I’m well aware of my own limitations of being creative with baking and as a result, I love discovering new recipes.

I’m so glad that over the past few months, I’ve almost exclusively baked with recipes I’ve found within my own blog community. It’s a great way to get to know fellow bakers and finding people who are as passionate about baking as I am.

chai spice banana bread

Photo: Courtesy of Neurotic Baker


For the banana bread:

1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
¾ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
½ cup honey
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze:

1 ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk


Make the banana bread
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine banana, honey, oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla-bean paste in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes; rotate pan and cover with foil to prevent over browning. Continue baking another 30 minutes. Bread is done when golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove bread from pan and cool completely.
Make the glaze
  1. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Whisk together brown butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cooled bread and let set before slicing and serving.

Cheryl Vivian is a neurotic baker who came to D.C. via Detroit, Chicago, and New York City. She likes to get nerdy about baking, and there are at least two dozen eggs, four pounds of butter, and a quart of buttermilk in her fridge at all times. She doesn’t cry over burnt cookies, sunken cakes, or tough pie dough, but she will try (and try) until it’s just right. Cheryl loves to blend new trends with traditional recipes and believes that everything is better with a pinch of salt. Follow along on Instagram at @cherylvivian.